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What should Warners do next?


#1

So we’re here on the Monday morning after Batman vs Superman was released. And the headlines are talking about records and what a hit it was.

  • $424 million in worldwide sales (4th highest ever)
  • $170 million in the US (6th highest ever)
  • Warners biggest opening ever
  • Biggest March opening ever

With a $250 million production budget and $150 million in marketing it needed about $800 million to break even, but most trades say the number it really needed to hit was $1 billion. It look like it will get there, but we don’t know yet if it’ll just scrape by or if it will blast through that number.

Regardless it still had a critical mauling and lots and lots of fans really disliked the movie. Snyder criticism is high, and the tone turned off alot of people. Now Warner’s face the question of what to do next. On their decision chart for today is a lineup of future movies (with Wonder Woman already underway). They have Justice League 1 & 2, Aquaman, Flash, Shazam, Cyborg, Green Lantern and another solo Batman movie. Eight movies, probably close to $2 billion in investment.

So what should Warner Brothers do with the DC movies?

  • Go full steam ahead, keep Snyder and the same tone
  • Stick with the release schedule, change out Snyder and adjust the tone
  • Wait and see with Wonder Woman before they make such a big commitment
  • Alter their plan dramatically and do something entirely different
  • I have an idea you didn’t think of O’Hara

0 voters


#2

I think they’re in a bit of a funny situation. It’s too early to really gauge this movie’s success yet, as odd as that sounds, as we’re yet to see whether the weak critical and audience reaction translates into a swift drop-off for them in terms of the next few weeks. If it does, that could point to a more damaging effect on audiences for their entire line than might be apparent after such a big debut weekend.

If they want to ditch Snyder completely (which I think is very unlikely) then they don’t have much time, with Justice League waiting in the wings. They can’t afford to wait for even Suicide Squad (let alone Wonder Woman) if they want to do that before the JL movies get under way.

So my suggestion is actually a combination of the choices in the poll: I think they’ll keep Snyder on but tweak things slightly to address the criticisms of BvS (not necessarily changing the tone, but maybe their overall approach to their shared universe, especially when it comes to the sections that the audiences felt made the movie feel overstuffed and overly concerned with setting up other movies).

Outwardly, though, I think we’ll see a message that they’re happy with Snyder and they’re sticking with their plans, no matter how much upheaval there is behind-the-scenes.


#3

It depends if they want to be taken seriously by the critics. Michael Bay and Spielberg didn’t care when it came to Transformers (and later TMNT) nor did Universal care when it came to Jurassic World. However, those were ridiculous movies that embraced their juvenile themes wholeheartedly while WB decided to follow the model of the much less juvenile and critically beloved Nolan Batman films. I don’t think the producers and filmmakers really set out to simply make another summer blockbuster but to also achieve something cinematic that would not have the sort of division among fans and critics that Man of Steel had.

At this point though, I don’t think they can change course, but they may be able to reconsider their approach – if they want to. Obviously, they don’t have to, but it is not easy - even when a film meets its financial expectations - to have it received so poorly.


#4

They’re realistically pegging it at a 60% drop, maybe a bit more. Less of a drop than MoS, and roughly on par with Ultron and Iron Man 3.

Personally I think they should stay the course and swap out Snyder—regardless of anything else, he’s too divisive at this point—but I imagine they’re not changing anything.


#5

Snyder starts shooting ‘Justice League’ in about a week, he’s there, he’s not leaving unless he punches the head of Warner Bros.

Maybe we can get him drunk? :punch:

They could look at ‘Wonder Woman’ and make changes, if they think there’s anything in the ‘BvS’ release that they can learn from?

They could make changes to ‘Justice League’ as they go along too, in fact that’s pretty standard.

‘Aquaman’ is the first one that they can radically overhaul without adding massive costs to the budget. Whatever it is planned to be now, it’ll be influenced by this and what happens in the next couple of years.


#6

Which means the Justice League script is pretty set without much time to revise - without, of course, making the movie even worse which is a big risk on films this size. You expect a certain amount of rewrites and reshoots during production, but usually, it won’t affect the final film or its reception very much unless it’s an animated movie.

I do wonder how the stars feel or what sort of opinions they’ll express through their agents as far as future direction for the franchise. Certainly, Affleck seemed to come in with some weight (as he is really the Batman-In-Chief, I believe) and it was rumored that he would actually polish dialog on set. It is possible that during shooting for BvS, he already provided a ton of input on future films to hopefully improve them. I’d feel a bit better with Affleck really being the leader for the future of DC movies.

From another thread: in the purely out-of-the-box option, take Snyder away from Superman, Batman, Wonder-Woman Aquaman and The Flash and give him The New Gods as an epic cosmic trilogy that somehow leads to the destruction of Krypton and the arrival of the Greek gods on Earth.


#7

I suggest letting Snyder do Justice League, then keep him on only as an “exec producer,” or whatever, and hand the reigns to someone with a mental age of over 17. My suggestions would be either Affleck or Cary Fukanaga of True Detective Season 1 fame.


#8

I like the direction they’re going but would love to see an Affleck directed Batman.


#9

I don’t think you can do a Batman movie after Justice League (Gotham drug dealers and mentally ill villains don’t really compare to an alien New God), so I’d like them to delay JL and get a Batman movie in first. Having said that there’s not many Gotham stories I really care about at this point so I don’t know what they’d do to offer something new and original.


#10

They’ll be changing ‘Justice League’ every day. That’s pretty standard. If there isn’t at least one writer (and probably several), in a hotel near Leavsden, turning out pages from Snyder, Affleck, and maybe some of the others, then I’ll be very surprised.

That won’t even mean it’s in trouble, it’s just how they make big movies.

Snyder’s going to be on the phone and email with Warner Bros all through the process, whatever his contract says.

Even James Cameron does that with Fox. Of course Cameron is usually just saying , “No!” a lot, but he’s communicating!


#11

I agree. I’m just curious what Affleck would do with it. Maybe Batman could move to Southie and take down Irish mafia. :wink:


#12

I’m not sure. Marvel have proved that you can mix the mid-level movies with the gigantic-scale Avengers stuff and still make it all work. In fact I think that kind of variety is part of their success.

Plus, people love Batman. Not putting out a Batman movie is like leaving money on the table.


#13

Ideally I would like to see them go ahead with what they are doing but switch out Snyder.

I don’t think the tone was the problem, I think it was the storytelling or lack thereof.

I hope Affleck doesn’t get dinged too hard for this (if anyone does) as I thought he was great. You have different people doing the WW movie and if BvS did anything right I feel like it did a good job setting up WW. I left the theater wanting to see that movie.

Snyder just doesn’t do story or characterization very well and I think he completely doesn’t understand Superman.


#14

My fear is that with the new Batman movie that they’re going to build an entire Bat-Universe in one fell swoop, kind of like they did in BvS. I envision like, 5 different villains, a couple of Robins, Barb Gordon, Nightwing, yadda yadda…all in the first movie. The plot will be something like the Arkham games, I’d imagine, where every major character gets some time to display what makes them important for five minutes, only to disappear until the BIG HUGE CACOPHONOUS FINALE where BATMAN AND HIS PARTNERS TAKE ON ALL THE BAD GUYS IN SLOW MOTION.

On a side note, now that I think about it, who wants to bet that Snyder made Terrio write the whole BvS script all in CAPS LOCK, because BIG AND OBVIOUS AND LOUD?


#15

I liked that in BvS there were obviously a ton of Bat movies we hadn’t seen. They visually set it up for there to be history there. They screwed it up when it came to the characters, mostly, but the opportunity was there.


#16

They’re putting out a Batman movie next year. It looks awesome.

I don’t know how you mid level Batman. He mixes with supergods, fights an alien monster, then goes back to beating up the Riddler. It works in cartoons and comics, but I think it looks silly on the screen. Nolan worked because he kep Batman removed from superpowers. Daredevil worked because he didn’t call Tony Stark to stop for a minute to take out 100 ninjas. The Marvel and DC universes don’t really make sense - they offer different levels of books for different types of readers, but street and super character rarely interact or play well together. Once you escalate you can’t really scale down.


#17

Have you ever played the Arkham games? They do a pretty good ‘serious’ take on Batman while incorporating a lot of the more fantastical stuff from the comics than would have worked in the comparatively realistic Nolan movies. It would be a good model for a new big-screen take, I think.


#19

I know what you’re talking about. I guess they’d have to amp up the villains and give them powers or toys or schemes that make them more super than Batman villains traditionally seem to have been (which is having an army of goons and a victim to kidnap). It’s a delicate balance though, could be good but could quickly become Mr Freeze and Poison Ivy.


#20

I think how Joker and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad are received is going to be felt in the Batman solo movie. If they are a hit with audiences, you know they will show up in the next Batman movie.

If that is the case, what do you do for the next Batman movie, because you know there will be one? People want to see Batman vs Joker but after that things get… cloudy.


#21

I think they have a few suggestions…